British Columbia Regional District High Points
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British Columbia is divided into 28 Regional Distircts (and 1 Region, Stikine) that form the next level of local government below the provincial level. They are roughly equivalent to counties in the United States, but they have only been in existence since 1965 and have changed with some frequency. Therefore, Regional Districts are not as stable or as well-known as U.S. Counties.
Still, for the jaded peakbagger looking for new challenges, this list of Regional District high points is a huge and serious undertaking. British Columbia is one of the most thoroughly mountainous large areas on the planet, and almost all the peaks on this list require hard-core mountaineering skills. I doubt if anyone has completed more than 15 of these 27 peaks.
There are a few interesting quirks to this list. Mount Waddington and its NW subpeak sit at the junction of three Regional Districts, giving the list only 27 major peaks for the 29 disticts and perhaps making it marginally easier to complete, since that saves two more possibly major expeditions. Also, note that northern Vancouver Island is part of districts that include large chunks of mainland, so Golden Hinde, Vancouver Island's high point, is not a district high point. Same thing for the Queen Charlotte Islands, part of a district with a high point on the mainland.
The top five major peaks on this list are well-known objectives: Fairweather, Waddington, Robson, Columbia, and Assiniboine. But most of the rest are high, snowy, remote, and difficult peaks that are not nearly as famous. Little White and Mount Whymper are perhaps the only two walk-ups on the list. The lowest summit, a forested bump that is the Capital Regional Distict's highest point, might not yet have been climbed except perhaps by a logger. The Skeena-Queen Charlotte high point also might be a virgin summit.
The main difficulty in compiling this list was that most topographic maps (paper and online) do not show the Regional District boundaries. Using a GIS coverage of the boundaries and overlaying that over various digital topographic maps, I think that I have determined the various high points. The Skeena-Queen Charlotte and Capital high points were the most difficult to determine, since they are random unnamed peaks. There may be inaccuracies, and I welcome any corrections. Don't get mad at me if you almost get killed on one of these peaks and later find out it is not the actual high point!
- Online Sources (See links below)
- Encarta Reference Library World Atlas DVD-ROM
- Various paper maps and atlases of B.C.
- Various world atlases
- Thanks to David Olson, who pointed out the "liner" high points near Wedge and Meslilloet Mountains.
Links British Columbia Basemap
Bivouac.com: The Canadian Mountain Encyclopedia
Toporama: Canadian Topographic Maps Online
Map Showing Location of Peaks
= Peaks climbed by Gary Spencer = Unclimbed peaksClick on a peak to see its name and a clickable link.
(Map only shows peaks ranked by clean prominence)
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